Visualizations Of An Unemployed Widow

IMG_0775Looking for a job within a region with the highest unemployment rate in the country is challenging. I’ve been on the hunt now for almost 5 months or more. I mean, I gave myself some grace in the first few months after Tim died, but was still looking, still planning and re-writing the live script, as it were, er, resume, or updating some new job board I found. Looking for work is all about HOW you look for work, and how you do that today is nowhere near like how I did it close to a decade ago. Not even close.

So yesterday I spent the day updating my various profiles online, uploading the new resume and covers to recruiter boards I found. Hunting for new jobs, and then writing compelling cover letters to accompany my shiny new resume. Thanks to a dear family friend, I now have a resume that was rewritten by a pro. HALLELUJAH!!! Also she gave me some excellent pointers on writing covers, etc.

Everything now is digitized. These new HR departments have digital sifter software that hunts through the mass of applications looking for certain keywords, words they used in their ad. You have to work those into your cover letter, or your resume will not get picked.

Also I dedicate some time every day at some point to skimming the news sites, headlines from various online papers, reading articles on LinkedIn. I try to keep up to date on current trends, business news, and job or career related content. Fodder for the hunt.

At some point I have a few emails to send off to our MPP and a couple other local clubs today or tomorrow, in regards to the Heritage Committee I’m involved with. Building up my networks is important, so I’m glad I’m involved with this project. I’ve met some fantastic people, and who knows? Maybe something we’ll come down the line through this committee.

I am now working towards something. I’m busy. As down as I get sometimes, I have days like the last couple, and I want to remind myself that all is not lost. It’s not hopeless. It’s just hard work. No lucky breaks. IF you want it today, you must have the energy and personal drive to go out and get it.

I was reminded today of an important lesson in visualization [see: Career Funk? Tip For Removal, by J.T. O’Donnell]. Of seeing yourself doing whatever it is you want to be doing, see yourself as that person 3 years in the future maybe, two years even? Heck, even a few months away. Where are you? Who are you? What are you doing? What do you have around you? WHO do you have around you? I’m not thinking long-term, just living in the present, thinking in terms of happiness and personal growth now. And getting a job, of course. ;-)

When I do visualize myself, if I’m honest, I see myself in a 1 bedroom apartment somewhere near a park. My sister and I went and looked around outside one that backs on to one of my favourite natural spots in London. What bliss that would be, Irish and I romping around the wet lands, and woods all year-long.

This place we looked at is a highrise, but it would do. What I would LOVE is a place with a nice front porch maybe Irish and I can sit on, or nice space out back. I’m not thinking big here, just cozy and just right. Inside I’d use the bedroom as a garden room/office. The living room would be my bedroom/whatever. I don’t really watch TV, so no sense in bothering with one, or arranging my life around one.

Job? I don’t know, but it doesn’t matter as much now as it did. I see myself in a different light. I want to write, but currently I probably can’t make a living at it. It’s too new. But one day I will, and in the mean time I just want something that will give me the time to still do that. Also to get involved, join the local camera club, maybe a local environmental group. Perhaps start writing Letters to the Editor, pitch articles to local papers, magazines online. Submit my poetry to something. Submit my photography. Do all the things I’ve just never done, because I was too afraid to. And take pictures, and write about it all here.

That’s how I see myself.

What do you visualize yourself doing 3 years? 2 years, even 5 years from now? Or just next year. Are there things you’d like to change in your life?


  1. indytony

    Boy, I can appreciate your struggle here. As I heard someone once say, “I resemble these remarks.”

    At age 48, I am shifting into a second career. I had a very enriching (and mostly fruitful) career as a pastor for 18 years. Now, after being on disability due to a mental illness (Bipolar), I’m looking to put my writing and teaching skills to use in some arena that pays a living wage. I’m revamping my resume tomorrow, looking into some freelance opportunities, and contacting some colleges about doing some tutoring (to get my foot in the door).

    I pray all goes well for you.


    1. PaulaB

      And for you as well Tony. Best wishes…and crossed fingers and toes to you ;-)

      No one ever said life was going to be easy, but sometimes it can be so frustrating. Network, network, network. But the good news is that “freelancing” is the new trend, apparently. I read the other day that something like 40% of the workforce will be working freelance by … oh….can’t recall the exact date…but 2020 or so. Not exactly very encouraging right now when you’re struggling to get the ol’ball rolling…but encouraging that atleast you are going in the right direction.


  2. nivaladiva

    Seems like we’re living the same theme… the ‘keep at it’ theme. I’m excited for you. You’re in a good place, open to things, trying things, being pro-active, envisioning your future. All so healthy and positive! I know not every day feels like that but it’s better than being huddled in a dark corner with a wine bottle every day/night. :) In a few years, I see myself living in a house or condo with my dog, some place with a yard, possibly on the East Coast (closer to family), writing full-time… or directing a movie and my dog visiting me on set. Definitely not living in this one-bedroom apartment forever. We need more space!!


    1. PaulaB

      :) I know eh? I think that so often when I read your posts…that sometimes I think, she must get sick of me saying ‘me too’.

      I liked the article I read yesterday though on visualization. I found it inspiring and helped to remind me to try to keep some perspective, and honestly envision what I want, and what I need to get what I want. Right now my goals are exceptionally modest. Someday I would love some wee cottage on a quiet street, near a park or natural area.

      “Huddle in a dark corner with a wine bottle” …oh, been there, been there. Not very helpful at all. ;-)


  3. theINFP

    I found persistence does pay off……eventually. I’m at the start of my latest career and turning 50 in October. In the next few years I want to be living somewhere out of a major city like Sydney, near the countryside or sea or both. I’m sure that change will happen for both of us :)


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